Why do Psychologist diagnose Christians as being Schizophrenic when they go to c

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  1. Ann810 profile image49
    Ann810posted 8 years ago

    Why do Psychologist diagnose Christians as being Schizophrenic when they go to counseling?

    Is it an attach on Christianity?


  2. Link10103 profile image60
    Link10103posted 8 years ago

    The very core of Christianity deals with rejecting reality to some degree, with some of the more unhinged people hearing gods voice telling them to do X. Pretty much the definition of being schizophrenic.

    Not sure why a Christian would be in counseling to begin with unless they were probably schizophrenic/had some other issue.

    1. Ann810 profile image49
      Ann810posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      No matter what a person's religion is, people still need some sort of counseling because we live in reality.

    2. WordCrafter09 profile image64
      WordCrafter09posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      In fairness (and that's all it is, nothing more), there are many things that are understood today that weren't a couple of thousand years ago that can be reconciled with reality without necessarily trashing/writing off all of Christianity

    3. Austinstar profile image83
      Austinstarposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      ME - the core of Christianity begins and ends with illogical beliefs. That is not "trashing", that is just a fact. When they bring their core beliefs up to the modern era, there will be less questions about their mental health.

  3. WordCrafter09 profile image64
    WordCrafter09posted 8 years ago

    As far as I've ever heard, the only people who should be "diagnosing" serious mental illness are psychiatrists.  As far as I've ever heard/known, there are "zillions" of Christians who neither believe they ARE Jesus nor that they hear/have heard him talk to them, personally.  I'd assume if a psychologist thinks someone has Schizophrenia with being a Christian in the mix, it would probably be either before or after the person has seen/been referred to, a psychiatrist.

    If it's before then a trained psychiatrist who knows, or will get to better know, the individual-in-question, will either confirm or correct a "diagnosis" made by someone who (as far as I know or have ever heard) has/had no business "diagnosing".

    If it's after (seeing a psychiatrist) one would assume that particular "diagnosis" was ruled out by the psychiatrist (or, I suppose, but certainly wouldn't assume) that the trained psychiatrist "seriously doubted" that "diagnosis" (and maybe referred to the individual to (or back to) a psychologist to get a better reading and try to address other issues.

    I notice some people here have raised the matter of "living in reality".  People have to be VERY careful about attempting to define someone else's "reality" (unless, maybe, the person says he's seeing flying pink elephants, or something like that).  I'd assume, though, a trained psychiatrist would be skilled at figuring out the difference between the way some Christians may word something like "listening to Jesus" (for example).

    Having pretty much no experience with seeing either any counselors or psychiatrists (except when a few were involved as part of my divorce when it was going on; and except for the times when as follow-up to that divorce/custody situation I did speak to a few counselors who had seen one or more of my children; I can't say the following for certain, but...

    I seriously doubt there's an "attack on Christianity" going on, in general, among mental-health professionals.  I don't doubt that people who can't express themselves well may find themselves being given a bad diagnosis; but I don't think any widespread problem of bad diagnoses in general has roots related to any attack on Christianity.  I just don't.  Maybe I'm wrong.    hmm

    1. Aime F profile image71
      Aime Fposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Psychologists definitely can make diagnoses (at least where I am).  But I agree with everything else you've said.

    2. WordCrafter09 profile image64
      WordCrafter09posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know where you are, but I seriously think if anyone other than a psychiatrist comes up with a diagnosis of something like Schizophrenia the person really ought to see what a psychiatrist has to say about such a serious diagnosis.

    3. Aime F profile image71
      Aime Fposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Think it depends on the area - a clinical psychologist is more than qualified to make that diagnosis.  But often when it comes to things like schizophrenia psychologists & psychiatrists work together anyway.

  4. Aime F profile image71
    Aime Fposted 8 years ago

    Erm, as someone going to school for Counselling Psychology, I feel like I can safely say that this isn't a standard diagnosis.  Where are your sources/statistics?  Seems to me that someone who was schizophrenic also happened to be Christian and you're jumping to conclusions.

    1. Annsalo profile image84
      Annsaloposted 8 years agoin reply to this


  5. gmwilliams profile image83
    gmwilliamsposted 8 years ago


    Many psychologists maintain that adherence to a religion is a sign of a schizoid personality.  They maintain that religionists are oftentimes divorced from reality as the latter aren't concerned with the world but put emphasis on the otherworldly.  To psychologists, many religionists believe that the world is a secondary concern.  Psychologists also believe that many religionists use religion as a subterfuge from their lives, especially if their lives are negative.   Many religionists view the world as an evil place to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.  They also view the physical as something to be merely tolerated &/or better yet, to be avoided altogether.   Many religionists have an attitude of avoidance regarding the world, physical, & so-called secular.   Psychologists are right to consider religionists as having varying degrees of schizophrenia because the latter have a negative attitude towards life in general, viewing as a tolerable sentence instead of living life to its fullest.

    To many psychologists, religionists don't want to face reality.  They contend that religionists FEAR reality because the latter have been strongly inculcated that the world & the physical is to be avoided as much as possible.  They believe that the fear of hell makes religionists believe that if people live the lives they want to live- they will be damned to hell for an eternity.  This fear, according to psychologists, causes religionists to be pessimistic regarding the human condition & the beauty of life in general.  Because of this pessimistic/negative attitude, psychologists maintain that religionists have a very dour perspective on life, oftentimes hoping to die in order to have a "better, true" life in the other world.

  6. Michaela Osiecki profile image68
    Michaela Osieckiposted 8 years ago

    Do you have any legitimate sources that indicate any psychologist has ACTUALLY done this, ever? If so, you should really cite those sources so that we can draw our own conclusions about each case to determine if that Christian really was also schizophrenic or if that particular psychologist was so off the wall as to diagnose any religious practitioner as mentally ill....

  7. Patty Inglish, MS profile image88
    Patty Inglish, MSposted 8 years ago

    I'm a member of the American Psychology Association for over 20 years. Licensed psychologists in USA make diagnoses every day, perfectly legally. However, the APA has its own division for faith and religion (support, health, and study of; not for diagnosing severe mental illnesses): Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (APA Division 36).

    Christians diagnosed on the schizophrenia spectrum display behaviors that satisfy the DSM-5 criteria in type, number, and degree of symptoms, on a case-by-case basis, just like any other patient.

    Some psychologists may be biased against Christians, but if diagnosing in such a biased manner (or attacking Christians or any group), at least my own state psychology board takes quick and definite action against such therapists.

  8. profile image0
    LoliHeyposted 8 years ago

    I have never heard of any Christian being diagnosed with Schizophrenia.  Being Schizophrenic has nothing to do with Christianity.  Christians are not more liable to develop it.

  9. jlpark profile image77
    jlparkposted 8 years ago

    Nope not an attack on Christianity, or everyone would be labeled the same.

    One can be religious and not have a mental health issue, just as someone can have a mental health issue and not have faith and vice versa.

    However, if one is claiming to hear the voice of God, particularly if that voice is telling them what to do, to themselves or others, not necessarily negative or threatening either, then they are likely to have a schizophrenia type diagnosis.

    Interestingly, a lot of people with achizophrenia claim to hear the voice of God who tells them to do things, and were not necessarily religious prior to their mental health issue becoming apparent in their young adulthood early 20s. So, it can't be said that its Christians only.

    It's actually a bit arrogant to think that the 'voice of God' they claim to hear is necessarily the voice of your God (even if the schizophrenic person wasn't religious or of another faith).

    Psychologists, psychiatrists and health professionals do not diagnose anything that there is no reason to diagnose - so it cannot be an attack on anyone - if you display the appropriate symptoms, then there will be a diagnosis. If you don't, you aren't given any diagnosis.

    however, imagined persecution (such as psychiatry attacking Christians wtc) could be seen as paranoia, which is another symptom of some schizophrenias.

    Often people, who happen to be of faith (now, I don't mean all of that faith by any means), cry persecution when they are denied something - eg denied the right to discriminate against a group of people = persecution of the group who wants to discriminate - which isn't actually any where near persecution...this could be another added issue for the diagnosis of things.

  10. bradmasterOCcal profile image50
    bradmasterOCcalposted 8 years ago

    The reason that they do it is because Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity, and most likely the shrinks are not Catholics.

    1. gmwilliams profile image83
      gmwilliamsposted 8 years agoin reply to this


  11. tamarawilhite profile image84
    tamarawilhiteposted 8 years ago

    If you talk to God, that is prayer.
    If God is talking to you, that is usually mental illness.

    1. gmwilliams profile image83
      gmwilliamsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Lilly Tomlin stated this in a comedy act 4 decades ago!


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